Sonntag, 16. April 2017 - 07:30 Uhr
Airbus Defence & Space in France has been selected as the prime industrial contractor for ESA’s Juice mission to Jupiter and its icy moons.
The agency’s Industrial Policy Committee approved the award of the €350.8 million contract yesterday. Pending the negotiation of contractual details, this should allow work to start by the end of this month. The formal contract signing will take place after the summer break.
The contract covers the industrial activities for the design, development, integration, test, launch campaign, and in-space commissioning of the spacecraft. The Ariane 5 launch is not included and will be procured later from Arianespace.
The spacecraft will be assembled in Toulouse, France, and many other ESA Member States will also be involved in Europe’s first mission to the largest planet in the Solar System.
Juice (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer) was selected in May 2012 as the first Large-class mission within ESA’s Cosmic Vision 2015–25 programme. The spacecraft should be launched in 2022 and arrive in the Jovian system in 2030.
For three and a half years, Juice will sweep around the giant planet, exploring its turbulent atmosphere, enormous magnetosphere, and tenuous set of dark rings, as well as studying the icy moons Ganymede, Europa, and Callisto. All three of these planet-sized satellites are thought to have oceans of liquid water beneath their icy crusts and should provide key clues on the potential for such icy moons to harbour habitable environments.
Gravity assists with Callisto and Ganymede will be used to modify the spacecraft’s trajectory, and two targeted Europa flybys will focus on the composition of non-water-ice material on its frozen surface, and the first subsurface sounding of an icy moon.
Callisto gravity assists will be also used to raise the orbital inclination to almost 30°, providing opportunities to observe Jupiter’s polar regions. The frequent Callisto flybys will enable unique remote observations of the moon and its neighbourhood.
The mission will culminate in a dedicated, eight-month tour around Ganymede, the first time any icy moon has been orbited by a spacecraft. During this period, Juice will perform detailed investigations of the moon and its interaction with the environment.
Juice will be equipped with 10 state-of-the-art instruments, including cameras, spectrometers, an ice-penetrating radar, an altimeter, radio-science experiments, and sensors to monitor the magnetic fields and charged particles in the Jovian system. One further experiment will combine data from the spacecraft telecommunication system and ground-based instruments.
The scientific payload was approved by ESA’s Science Programme Committee in February 2013 and will be developed by teams spanning 16 European countries, the USA and Japan, using national funding.
REISEZIEL GANYMED: DIE EISMONDE DES JUPITER
Die JUICE-Mission der Europäischen Raumfahrtagentur will den Jupiter und seine Monde erkunden. Vor allem der Mond Ganymed soll unter die Lupe genommen werden: Unter dem Eis des Himmelskörpers werden große Wasservorkommen vermutet. Gibt es dort Spuren von Leben oder sogar die Möglichkeit, eines Tages Leben anzusiedeln?
Doch ehe Daten gesammelt und zwecks Auswertung zur Erde geschickt werden können, muss zunächst eine rund achtjährige Reise unternommen werden. Anschließend sollen die Jupiter-Monde umkreist werden. "Wir müssen nur herausfinden, wie tief das Wasser ist, wie weit es von der Oberfläche entfernt ist, wie weit seine Ausdehnung ist - und ob es dort Leben geben könnte: Und zwar lebende Organismen im Wasser der verdeckten Meere auf diesen vereisten Monden", sagt die griechische Astrophysikerin Athena Coustenis.
Die Forscher arbeiten an einem Projekt, das 2022 beginnen soll. Bis Daten erhalten und Erkenntnisse gewonnen werden, vergehen weitere Jahre. Deshalb sind neben einer Menge Energie auch ganz viel Geduld und Vorstellungsvermögen gefragt. Eine Raumfahrtmission sei ein lebenslanges Projekt, meint Olivier Witasse, der wissenschaftliche Leiter der JUICE-Mission.
JUICE - Searching for life on Jupiter’s icy Moons
In May 2022, the Airbus Defence and Space-built spacecraft JUICE (Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer) will head for Jupiter. Its main mission will be to explore the huge planet’s three largest icy moons in the hope of determining whether life is possible on these dwarf planets.
What if extra-terrestrial life does exist? For centuries, this question – which both fascinates and frightens mankind – has remained unanswered. But by the year 2030, some answers may well have been found – with the help of Airbus Defence and Space.
In July 2015, the company was selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) as prime contractor for the design, development, production, and testing of a new spacecraft named ‘JUICE’. As its name implies (Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer), the mission will be to explore the Jovian system, focusing on three of Jupiter’s huge Galilean moons: Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, which are as large as dwarf planets and covered by an icy crust.
“The goal is to investigate whether there are liquid oceans under these icy crusts which might harbour organic components or even life” says Vincent Poinsignon, JUICE project manager.
It will take JUICE seven and a half years to travel the almost 600 million kilometres to the gas giant. Once the spacecraft enters Jupiter’s gravitational field, the first two and a half years of its three-and-a-half-year mission will be spent making about 30 thirty observation overflights of the three moons, observing examining gravity and magnetic interactions, amongst other things. The last year will be spent in orbit around Ganymede to observe this moon in much greater detail.
The challenges are enormous. JUICE must deal with very low and very high temperatures as it will circle Earth, Mars and Venus for gravity assist manoeuvres to build up enough speed to reach Jupiter’s orbit. Jupiter’s cold environment also makes it hard to collect energy.
JUICE will have the largest solar arrays ever built for any interplanetary spacecraft. As a comparison: Rosetta’s solar panels only have 64 square metres.
As it will carry ten scientific instruments that require a very high level of magnetic cleanliness, the spacecraft itself may cannot generate electromagnetic signals. As all electronic systems generate electromagnetic waves when they are in operation, the Airbus Defence and Space engineers have devised a way to reduce them as much as possible.
Quelle: AIRBUS DEFENCE&SPACE
ESA’S JUPITER MISSION MOVES OFF THE DRAWING BOARD
Demanding electric, magnetic and power requirements, harsh radiation, and strict planetary protection rules are some of the critical issues that had to be tackled in order to move ESA’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer – Juice – from the drawing board and into construction.
Scheduled for launch in 2022, with arrival in the Jovian system in 2029, Juice will spend three-and-a-half years examining the giant planet’s turbulent atmosphere, enormous magnetosphere, its set of tenuous dark rings and its satellites.
It will study the large icy moons Ganymede, Europa and Callisto, which are thought to have oceans of liquid water beneath their icy crusts – perhaps even harbouring habitable environments.
The mission will culminate in a dedicated, eight-month tour around Ganymede, the first time any moon beyond our own has been orbited by a spacecraft.
Jupiter's largest moons
Juice will be equipped with 10 state-of-the-art instruments, including cameras, an ice-penetrating radar, an altimeter, radio-science experiments, and sensors to monitor the magnetic fields and charged particles in the Jovian system.
In order to ensure it can address these goals in the challenging Jovian environment, the spacecraft’s design has to meet stringent requirements.
An important milestone was reached earlier this month, when the preliminary design of Juice and its interfaces with the scientific instruments and the ground stations were fixed, which will now allow a prototype spacecraft to be built for rigorous testing.
The review also confirmed that the 5.3 tonne spacecraft will be compatible with its Ariane 5 launcher.
Operating in the outer Solar System, far from the Sun, means that Juice needs a large solar array: two wings of five panels each are foreseen, which will cover a total surface area of nearly 100 sq m, capable of providing 820 W at Jupiter by the end of the mission.
After launch, Juice will make five gravity-assist flybys in total: one each at Mars and Venus, and three at Earth, to set it on course for Jupiter. Its solar panels will have to cope with a range of temperatures such that when it is flying closer to the Sun during the Venus flyby, the solar wings will be tilted to avoid excessive temperatures damaging the solar cells.
The spacecraft’s main engine will be used to enter orbit around the giant planet, and later around Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede. As such, the engine design has also been critically reviewed at this stage.
Special measures will allow Juice to cope with the extremely harsh radiation that it must endure for several years around Jupiter. This means careful selection of components and materials, as well as radiation shielding.
NASA Approves Instruments for ESA’s ‘JUICE’ Mission to Jupiter System
NASA’s partnership in a future European Space Agency (ESA) mission to Jupiter and its moons has cleared a key milestone, moving from preliminary instrument design to implementation phase.
Designed to investigate the emergence of habitable worlds around gas giants, the JUpiter ICy Moons Explorer (JUICE) is scheduled to launch in five years, arriving at Jupiter in October 2029. JUICE will spend almost four years studying Jupiter’s giant magnetosphere, turbulent atmosphere, and its icy Galilean moons—Callisto, Ganymede and Europa.
The April 6 milestone, known as Key Decision Point C (KDP-C), is the agency-level approval for the project to enter building phase. It also provides a baseline for the mission’s schedule and budget. NASA’s total cost for the project is $114.4 million. The next milestone for the NASA contributions will be the Critical Design Review (CDR), which will take place in about one year. The CDR for the overall ESA JUICE mission is planned in spring 2019.
“We’re pleased with the overall design of the instruments and we’re ready to begin implementation,” said Jim Green, director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “In the very near future, JUICE will go from the drawing board to instrument building and then on to the launch pad in 2022.”
JUICE is a large-class mission—the first in ESA’s Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 program carrying a suite of 10 science instruments. NASA will provide the Ultraviolet Spectrograph (UVS), and also will provide subsystems and components for two additional instruments: the Particle Environment Package (PEP) and the Radar for Icy Moon Exploration (RIME) experiment.
The UVS was selected to observe the dynamics and atmospheric chemistry of the Jovian system, including its icy satellites and volcanic moon Io. With the planet Jupiter itself, the instrument team hopes to learn more about the vertical structure of its stratosphere and determine the relationship between changing magnetospheric conditions to observed auroral structures. The instrument is provided by the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), at a cost of $41.2 million.
The PEP is a suite of six sensors led by the Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF), capable of providing a 3-D map of the plasma system that surrounds Jupiter. One of the six sensors, known as PEP-Hi, is provided by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, and is comprised of two separate components known as JoEE and JENI. While JoEE is focused primarily on studying the magnetosphere of Ganymede, JENI observations will reveal the structure and dynamics of the donut-shaped cloud of gas and plasma that surrounds Europa. The total cost of the NASA contribution to the PEP instrument package is $42.4 million.
The Radar for Icy Moon Exploration (RIME) experiment, an ice penetrating radar, which is a key instrument for achieving groundbreaking science on the geology, is led by the Italian Space Agency (ASI). NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), in Pasadena, California, is providing key subsystems to the instrument, which is designed to penetrate the surface of Jupiter's icy moons to learn more about their subsurface structure. The instrument will focus on Callisto, Ganymede, and Europa, to determine the formation mechanisms and interior processes that occur to produce bodies of subsurface water. On Europa, the instrument also will search for thin areas of ice and locations with the most geological activity, such as plumes. The total cost of the NASA contribution is $30.8 million.
How will JUICE complement NASA’s Europa Clipper multiple flyby mission, also scheduled to launch in the early 2020s?
“The missions are like close members of the same family. Together they will explore the entire Jovian system,” said Curt Niebur, program scientist at NASA Headquarters. “Clipper is focused on Europa and determining its habitability. JUICE is looking for a broader understanding how the entire group of Galilean satellites formed and evolved.”
Niebur says by examining the complexity of the Jupiter system, we will learn more about how habitable areas form in our solar system and beyond. “We’ve learned that habitable environments can arise in surprising places and in unexpected ways. Life may not be limited to the surface of Earth-like worlds orbiting at just the right distance from their suns.”